I was studying Ancient Greek clothing the other day, and I realised that for centuries now, fashion has been not only a statement, but also a response.
The modern fashion industry is basically split into two major fashion seasons - Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. Today, however, there are numerous micro-seasons. The result of that is a new clothing line on the ramp almost every other week. As we struggle to stay up to date with the trends, micro-trends, fads and it-looks, we are called to purchase more. And it’s a treat when these purchases don’t slim our wallets much, isn’t it?
Say hello to fast fashion, folks! Fast fashion chains began when this new fad-culture started being supported by brands’ who would pump out new (knock off) designs at lower-than-average prices. These stores changed their stock almost every week and these are where we found our favourite “SALE” sticker (shinier than ever).
Lets, for a minute, halt. And question. Have you ever questioned what makes possible the everyday display of fresh stock? Or why the the maxi dress that lured you to walk towards a mannequin was priced so shockingly low? Ever questioned, WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?
With the increase in the demands and the necessity of bridging the gaps between demand and supply, the fashion industry sprouted many job opportunities. Everything was not so colourful though. These jobs were mainly created in regions where the worker rights weren’t of much importance, hence, there were no job securities, no fair wages, no ethical treatment and no hygienic conditions.
Everything was well that ended well. Meaning, as long as the clothes were fashionable, cheap, and sold out well, it didn’t matter if a few compromises were made. A "small" cost for a large gain. This is the true cost of Fast Fashion. It’s an obvious fact that these clothes quickly wear off, fade or the fabric shrinks; and we find ourselves back at the mall looking for the next item to love (for a short while, of course.)
The fashion industry today accounts for the second largest polluter, after the oil industry. We are producing waste faster. It is therefore necessary that we learn to reuse, reduce and recycle. Nothing fancy! It is actually possible on a personal level.
When you become a conscious shopper, you automatically start picking pieces that you know you can use many times. That entails - a great timeless design, fabrics that won't bail on you, and the fact it could possibly be paired in many different ways. When you look at it from that perspective, a few extra bucks spent on this one piece is actually a save (rather than buying many items that wouldn't last). An upgrade in both quality and style!
Fast fashion is all about the trends with many retailers creating knock offs (direct copies of what high fashion brands are doing on the runway) - but produced faster, cheaper, with no unique aesthetic. However, when it comes to slow fashion, every brand has its own specific look, which allows for a more unique style - something that isn't generic or a fad at that moment. They're not mass produced - each design usually involves a lot of thought and care.
Slow fashion is a statement that says that you care where your clothes came from, you care about the hands that gently stitched this garment, and you want every person to have the rights they deserve.
By choosing sustainable, cruelty-free and eco-friendly pieces, you are not only choosing yourself a beautiful wardrobe with a story to tell, you are also giving back in profusion. This is what we at Arture believe in. And each day when we head off to work, we do it with our chins held high, knowing that we chose a path of which we can be proud. :)